Arroz Con Pollo Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Arroz Con Pollo

19 reviews / 4.5 average

Rich and savory Arroz Con Pollo with delicious tomato flavor, juicy chicken, tender rice, lots of herbs and spices, plenty of lime juice, and a handful of jalapeño-stuffed green olives. Bright and spicy and comforting!

Arroz con pollo?! Arroz con pollo!

It’s a staple for many, but it’s new to me as of this fall, and it has immediately become a chilly-weather favorite that has me excitedly hauling out the big heavy Dutch oven every Sunday afternoon. I am hooked.

Rich and savory with tomato flavor, juicy chicken, tender rice, lots of herbs and spices, plenty of lime juice, and (at least in my kitchen) a handful of jalapeño-stuffed green olives – it is a complete 180 from the mild and creamy chicken and rice that I grew up with, and it is wonderful in its ability be both comforting and also spicy and bright all in one complex bite.

I think I made it three times in three back-to-back weeks, so yes, it is forsurely on the recipes-that-need-to-be-made-more-than-once list.

Watch How To Make This Recipe:

Click here to see the step-by-step web story instructions for this recipe!

Ingredients for Arroz Con Pollo in a dutch oven.

We loved this recipe – the whole fam, including toddler (although I left the spicy olives out for her portion) – and I really don’t think there could be any happier mealtime moment than the one where you open the lid on this steaming pot of comfort food as you settle in around the table on a fall or winter evening.

Arroz Con Pollo in a bowl with a fork.

More Cozy Dutch Oven Goodness

Arroz con pollo is a traditional Latin American dish that translates to “rice with chicken.” There are variations in how it is made depending on where in the world you are eating it – Spain, Puerto Rico, or Latin America. I made this version based off the arroz con pollo recipe in the Saveur The New Classics cookbook which is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. I made some changes to the ingredients and method to save some time and adjust it to my tastes, all of which are noted below! It’s worth noting that this version is missing the often-used annatto because I don’t keep it stocked in my pantry. For something more traditional, here’s a recipe for a lightened up version of the Colombian arroz con pollo that my friend Gina from Skinnytaste grew up with.

Common Questions About Arroz Con Pollo

Do I need to soak my rice?

The Saveur cookbook version I was inspired from has you soaking the rice for an hour before starting – but I always skipped this step and still loved the end results! The Saveur version also included annatto, corn, and capers. I skipped all of those in this version just due to personal preference.

Can I freeze leftovers?

I tried freezing this (after cooking) and thawed it overnight in the fridge. It was good, but a little dry. If you do this I would recommend adding some liquid to bring it all back to life again.

Is there a substitute for olives?

Sure! You could try capers instead of olives here.

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Arroz Con Pollo in a bowl with a spoon in it.

Arroz Con Pollo

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Rich and savory Arroz Con Pollo with delicious tomato flavor, juicy chicken, tender rice, lots of herbs and spices, plenty of lime juice, and a handful of jalapeño-stuffed green olives. Bright and spicy and comforting!


Units Scale
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • one 12-ounce bottle light beer
  • one 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • one 12-ounce jar green olives (I LOVE jalapeño stuffed green olives for this!)
  • a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • a few squeezes of lime juice


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the chicken, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping once, until cooked through. Remove from the pan. When cooled, roughly chop or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Turn the heat down on the pan. Add the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and pepper to the same pan. Sauté until soft and fragrant, scraping the browned bits off the bottom, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the tomato paste, spices, thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; sauté for 2-3 minutes, until deep red.
  4. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Add beer; simmer and let it reduce for a few minutes. Add canned tomatoes, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a low simmer.
  5. Stir in chicken and rice; bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Stir in olives, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste and ENJOY your masterpiece!


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Latin American

Keywords: arroz con pollo, chicken and rice, dutch oven recipe, comfort food

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of delicious rice recipes. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks fabulous! Fall weather looks like it’s going to officially arrive in my neck of the woods this weekend. Looking forward to having a hearty and delicious rainy day meal.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I had the same question, but I believe the rice is uncooked when you add it. (She mentions how some like to soak the rice for an hour beforehand, and that wouldn’t be needed if the rice were cooked already.)

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Awesome! This was super tasty. I loved it and got tons of compliments on this meal. I added some frozen (thawed) peas and corn at the end, for added color and texture.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Love the look of this recipe! I’m just starting out with cooking and don’t have many supplies- and I don’t yet have a Dutch oven. Any recommendations or success doing this in a crockpot or instapot? Thanks!!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I just made this recipe tonight. It was delicious and packed with flavor! I do not have a Dutch oven so I improvised and made it in a cast iron skillet covered tightly with foil. Turned out great!

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          So happy to hear it worked out in a cast iron skillet! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so flavorful! Would it be possible to make vegetarian by using chickpeas, tofu, etc. and veggie broth?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Christian! Your substitutions sound amazing! We’ve never tried making a vegetarian version of this dish. We would love to hear how it goes if you give it a shot!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I was wondering the same thing. I’m wondering if tempeh and beans would be a nice replacement, or even musrooms.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Woah, so I’ve lived in Colombia and my family’s arroz con pollo was way simpler and BORINGGGG. So this looks like an amazing & more flavorful version, really excited to try it!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this for dinner tonight! My husband (Louisiana native) dubbed it “Mexican Jambalaya.” Can’t say he’s totally wrong, but it is delicious!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    No, no, no. This is not arroz con pollo – Please don’t call it that. Arroz con pollo is originally from the Caribbean islands – we don’t use jalapeño. The base of the arroz con pollo is using something called sofrito which is made from scratch by blending cilantro, recao, sweet red peppers, onions, garlic (this sofrito or cilantro base is used in the beginning, not at the end like you did). Then using anatto sazon and adobo for the seasoning of the chicken, as well as a bit of cumin and a bit of oregano -(We never use as much cumin as you used) You also put a spoon of tomato sauce or tomato paste. Put a few olives in to cook with the rice, not after. Also, do not put the pot of rice in the oven, it will come out too sticky and watery as I see yours came out – it should be fluffy which just a bit of stickiness – not watery.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      She literally mentions in the article that this is not a traditional arroz con pollo. It is oooookay to take traditional recipes and switch them up for easiness, personal taste, and access to ingredients. Have you ever had kung pao chicken from an American Chinese restaurant or pesto made with walnuts instead of pine nuts? How dare you?! Seriously though, calm down lol.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My husband and I both hate olives, but I really want to make this! Do I need to substitute the olives with something or just leave them out?

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Everything looked awesome until you got to the green olives, could you use black olives instead or another substitute ingredient? I’m definitely going to try it out.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks delicious and will definitely try it but please correct the spelling ->>> It’s COLOMBIA, not Columbia!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Sue, we haven’t tested the recipe with a replacement for the beer, but we think white wine or more chicken broth could be good substitutes!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I used a non alcoholic beer that we had on hand and it was still so flavorful!

    3. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Wondering about that too. Would love to make this non-alcoholic. More broth maybe?

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi! Is there something to replace the beer with? My husband has celiac disease and beer has gluten in it. Thanks in advance— I will definitely be maning this once I find a substitute for the beer!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Evie! We haven’t tested this recipe with a beer replacement, but we think white wine or more chicken broth could be good substitutes!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks amazing, but I would love to make it less spicy. Would doing half the jalepeno make it milder but still flavorful?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Natasha! The ribs and seeds of jalapenos hold all of the spiciness. So if you completely remove/scrape out those, the dish will be milder!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Meg! We haven’t tested this recipe with brown rice, but it should work out fine. Brown rice generally takes a bit longer than white rice. You could try extending the cooking time by 10-15 minutes.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I lived in South Texas for several years growing up in the 70s, and I remember my mom making arroz con pollo all of the time in her electric skillet. It was one of my favorites, so I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this tonight and thought it was delicious and so easy! I was worried about the rice getting too mushy, which often happens with baked rice dishes. I used basmati rice which held its own very well and didn’t overcook! I also added an extra jalapeño because I like a little more spice. Very flavorful!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this last night and it was delicious! My husband doesn’t like olives which is too bad, because the jalapeno stuffed olives were a fabulous touch! I was excited to see the new recipe posted yesterday and decided to make it straight away for dinner same night – so glad I did! I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch! I didn’t really vary from the recipe and it turned out just great – thank you!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Followed exactly used long grain white rice. At 30 minutes not even close to ready. Minimum 45 minutes. 1 year old oven took 50 -55 minutes.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just made this last night and it came out perfect! Had the right amount of spice and flavor. Would definitely make it again!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Jaime, sorry to hear that. Hoping that it came out well after adding more cooking time. Thanks for the feedback!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I don’t have a dutch oven, so I cooked this entirely on the stove and it turned out great! Rather than baking it for the last 30 minutes, I kept it simmering (covered) on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid was absorbed and the rice was cooked through.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      So happy it worked out for you on the stovetop! Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so heavenly! I absolutely love how colorful and easy this looks to make. Arroz con Pollo is one of my comfort foods and you make it seem so easy to make. Can’t wait to try this recipe out, this fall is going to be great!

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I accidentally had a few missing/subbed ingredients and even so, it was so tasty. Can’t wait to make it again with everything called for. So cozy and delicious.